This page is another example of me plagiarizing myself because I sketched this up from an ink and watercolour illustration I did just over three years ago. It is always interesting to see how I translate the same (or similar) drawing between mediums. This mixed media version was also an experiment in using a lemon yellow and lime green palette. I think the combination is as fresh as you would expect from citrus inspiration. I suspect it would have more zing to it if not dulled down with the flesh tones. I am finding that I really like to use text papers in my mixed media pieces. Maybe it is my love of books and reading but I also just like the sort of mark-making quality it contributes, all those shapes and forms.
This month’s Life Book theme of Growth has meant lots of flower paintings. I am not remotely competent at drawing flowers let alone painting them. While this means I should probably just challenge myself to practice them, I don’t have time for all of the things I want to draw and paint so I just steer clear of the subjects that don’t particularly engage or inspire me creatively. Recognising, however, that I have now skipped a few Life Book lessons, I decided to push myself to completing last week’s lesson.
It was taken by Roben-Marie Smith and was all about creating an abstract flower painting through layering collage and paint. When I started experimenting with mixed media, layering was something I really struggled with. I made a lot of mud, a lot of mess, and found it difficult to make everything cohere into one complete piece. In recent months, however, I have found myself actually quite enjoying layering and especially if what I am aiming to achieve is a more grungy and abstract look. I, therefore, did not struggle with the layering aspect of this piece but again the flower element defeated me. I honestly think my 7 year old son could have done a better job of painting these flowers. Sure, I was aiming for an abstract, non-realistic flower look but these bright blooms just look daft. Well the lesson was worth doing if only to reinforce that I am getting better at layering and that flowers are still very much not within my wheelhouse.